tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC February 10, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
explaining the behind the scenes negotiations on this, would you call with a the white house is doing right now a fumble? >> oh, yeah. this is very much the half pregnant approach. not -- >> a loaded term, my friend. a loaded term. >> sorry. but from the beginning, this cropped up on the radar in late august of 2011 and there was a lot of dissension in the white house on how to handle this situation. it's hard to tell whether or not the momentum for the policy came from kathleen sebelius or from the folks inside the white house, but we [n tough battle, a bit of a battle of the sexes pitting the female advisers against people like joe biden and bill daley, you were have much against this. >> one of the interesting scenes from the story was when dolen came to the white house with the
bishops and this vision of him in the black robe sitting with obama, and obama feeling awkward in the meeting. i want to open it up to the panel a bit. it seem like the white house under estimated the response that this decision would get from the religious, and catholic community and from the right. >> maybe glenn can speak to this, how could they not see the, obviously the bishops were lined up to tee off on this, if they were requiring religious groups to fund contraception that they do not believe in. why not come up with it initially. the catholic church does not have to violate their conscious, how do they not figure that out for the start? >> where were you during the health care debate? this is the same fight that they were having in congress. it the exact same people involved. the bishops play a huge role during the health care debate and the bishops got the
democrats to back off, picked them off one by one, i think that they were happy to jump ship on this this, it's something that their constituents are giving grief about this. >> on that point, we were on capitol hill before patricia murphy started her other careers. the thing we were waiting for in the end, it was not whatç was the bill, it was about whether or not stupak, who is this, took on the role of leading the pro life democrats would allow for president obama to have a separate waiver that would keep the catholic religious institutions out of it. this is an issue that was a wedge during budget fights, for them to be blind sided on this is shocking. this is male versus female. >> glenn, i want to ask you, you know, i was on the call with senior white house officials and
they were saying, look, we are not really changing our position, we had one year built into this, we are not reversing course, they are trying to spin this this thing, but does it not look like they were caught flat footed? >> the last question, is the key, the polling sort of shows the white house is on the side of popular opinion, even among catholics about you know 50 to 55% of catholics support this process. back to what luke said, the dna of this fight was the stupak amendment, because the women's groups were upset about the fact that that had to be put into the bill and they were equally angry when kathleen sebelius came out against the expansion of the morning after pill. this is, we talk a lot about the bishops and her some of the best politicians in this country, let me tell you, but there's
pressurecoming from planned parenthood and other women's groups saying where are you? we are theses that always have to compromise. >> speaking of planned parenthood cecil richards is joining us, what a day to have you on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> noticed that planned parenthood has come out with a statement of support. do you think the president has handled it well? >> yes, he reaffirmed the commitment that every woman should have access to birth control without a expenexpensiv co-pay, the congress is trying to strip women to access to birth control this the area, and i think it's an important statement. >> does it prize you that they just did not come out with this position from the beginning. there's talk about hawaii, the white house senior facial offi
saying it not hawaii plan, why waste time saying they were not going to do one thing and then circle back and do the thing that everyone thought they should have done in the first place? >> i think they have been working on this since announcing the pause, it a -- it a very, this is entire thing has been blown out of pro portion in my opinion by a lot of bullying, but this statement reaffirmed the administration's position on birth control. which is women deserveç it and 98% of catholic women use it at some point. this is fundamental health care for women, it's good for their health and this is an economic issue. you know, many women pay, even with insurance, pay $600 a year, that will get rid of those expensive copays and it will be
good for women everywhere. >> we talk about the independent's women's vote, and the president needs to win those women going into 2012 are they on the president's side on this? >> that was what i was thinking. we are forgetting the context that this happened. you have assaults on planned parenthood and we had the komen for the cure dusting up whether they would fund planned parenthood and this was announced in the context of women feeling like they were finally on the offense against these intrusions on women's liberty, in that context and in the face of the fact that it was not a remarkable change. 26 states have this rule. new york has rule, massachusetts, when romney was governor has the same rule. i think they might have gotten caught unawares because it's not that remarkable and they were feeling the momentum with this shift toward women's liberty being a priority.
they need it for the election and i think that is where they are. >> if you talk to strategists, they say this election will be won in the suburbs and a lot of times that is upper middle class women who are the ultimate swing group. a lot of women outside of pittsburgh, and columbus, and iç virginia, and northern virginia, to knothose voters does it come down to define the war on women, which a lot of people on the left are saying, done by the republicans or is it an over reach saying that the president is trying dictate how your church operates? >> it not as black and white as we have seen before. there's been women that were open to it before hand and take it and say, wait, why is he trying to tell my church how to run their health care plan, it will be interesting to see how it goes into november. >> alex, could i break in on that? >> go for it.
>> it's a point of clarification, there's been a respectful compromise already, the original regulation, in that more than 335,000 churches are exempt from being required to provide birth control for their employees. so this is not a matter of churches or not. and i think that, i think to the comment made earlier, it is important to see this in the context of what has been an unrelenting assault on women's ho health care access, women do not like it when folks put politics ahead of their health care. we see romney now, it a race to the bottom on who would be the worst on women's health care issues. he said that he wants to repeal the entire national family planning program and end birth control across the country -- >> i want to get your beat on this. this is different to me. we had the government funding fights over abortion funding. >> this is not abortion.
>> this though, at least to me is coming across as a political issue of my church is being instructed to do something it not comfortable with, i may be about contraceptives but i do not want my church run over like this, do you see the difference? >> that is why i'm clarifying. it's not a church. we were talking about hospitals, religiously affiliated hospitals that employee the public and get millionss of federal funds, they operate in the public space, we are not talking about churches and that has been the issue here, women, and i think this, again, the principal that the administration has been clear on, women deserve access to health care, including birth control coverage regardless of where they work. that is the principal here, i think -- and as you say, if you look at the polling on this. this is birth control coverage is popular among everyone in america including catholics. >> cecil, i guess, i guess the
question is, in terms of the messaging, the right has been incredibly effective. everyone has been marching in lockstep, the rhetoric has been the same. war on faith and war on religion and war on religious limitations. and glenn, you are still out there some where, jim has asked we should be ahead of this and be better to messaging and it's said, well we will let the campaign organization handle that. do you as a group feel that you do not have the back up that you need from the white house on this? >> at the end of the day, planned parenthood foxes on getting women health care, so, for us, this isç an important step forward in getting birth control access. i think, i hate to say it, i think there's a beltway mentality, we think of everything in terms of 24-hour cycles, over the long haul, women in this country, getting now access to preventive care
including birth control with no copay is very popular. and it will be popular in november. >> we will have -- we will be asking you and glenn more questions after the break. glenn, we promise to come to you more next, coming up. president obama is set to speak in a few minutes, and he is expected to announce a change to the birth control policy, we will bring you those comments live next on "now." i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information.
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you first, we were talking about how obama came to this decision, and i how the one of the more telling moments was he sort of went with the women in the white house, but dave plouffe and his adviser, you -- >> well, it kind of like the national lampoon with the devil and the angel to shoulder, right? no i think this president would say he made a decision on the merits. with all due respect, planned parenthood speaking about this issue forcefully is one çthing but the president and a lot of had his senior staff, people that could speak to -- >> glenn, we are going to have to hear more on that in a second, obama is speaking right now about the white house's latest position on contraceptive
coverage. >> all insurance plans are required to cover preventive care at no cost. that means free checkups and other basic services. we fought for this because it saves lives, and it saves money families, for businesses for government, for everyone. that is because it's a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one. we also accepted a recommendation from the experts at the institute of medicine that when it comes to women, preventive care should include the coverage of contraceptive services such at birth control. in addition to family planning, doctors prescribe contraception as a way to produce the risk of cancers and a variety of different ailments and we know the overall cost of health care is lower when women have access to contraceptive services.
nearly 99% of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives. 99%. and yet, more than half of all women, between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it. so, for all these reasons, we decided to follow the judgment of the nation's leading medical experts, and make sure that free preventive care includes access to free contraceptive care, whether you are a teacher or small business woman, or a nurse, or a janitor, no woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes. every woman should be in control of the decisions that effect her health, period. this basic principal is already the law in 28 states across the country. now, as we move to implement
this rule, however, we have been mindful that there's another principal at stake here and that is the principal of religious us liberty. a right that is in our constitution. as a citizen, and as a christian, i cherish this right. in fact my first job in chicago was working with catholic parishes in poor neighborhoods and my salary was funded by a grant from an arm of the catholic church and i saw that local churches often did more good for a community than a government program ever could, so i understand the importance of to work that the faith based organizations do and how much impact they can have in their communities. i know that some religious institutions, particularly those affiliated with the catholic church have an objection to covering contraceptive services for their employees, we originally exempted all theseç
institutions from this bill. from the beginning of the process, i spoke directly to various catholic officials and i promised that before finalizing the rule as it applied to them, we would spend the next year working with institutions like catholic hospitals and catholic universities to find an equitiable solution that effects religious liberty and ensures that every woman has access to the care that she needs. now, after the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as frankly the more cynical desire on the part of some to make it into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was of not an option. we needed to move this faster. so, last week, i directed the department of health and human services to speed up the process
that was envisioned. we were not going the spend a year doing this, we were going to spend a week doing this. we reached a decision on how to move forward today, under the you rule, women will still have access to free preventive care, that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work. so that core principal remains. but, if a woman's employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contra active services as part of their health plan, the insurance company, not the hospital or the charity, will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, withoutç copay and hassles the result will be that religious organizations will not have to pay for the services or provide them directly. let me repeat. these employers will not have to pay for, or provide
contraceptive services. but women who work at the institutions will have access to free contraceptive services just like other women and they will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a years that could go toward paying the rent or buying groceries. i've been confident from the start that we could work out a sensible approach here, just as i promised. i understand that some folks in washington may want to treat this as another political wedge issue. but it should not be. i certainly never saw it that way. this is an issue where people of good will wion both sides of th debate have been sorted through complicated questions to find a solution that works for everyone. with today's announcement, we have done that. religious liberty will be protected. and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women. now, we live in a pluralestic
society, where we do not agree on every issue or share every belief. that doesn't mean that we have to choose between individual liberty and basic fairness for all americans. we are unique among nations for is having been founded upon both of these principals and our obligation as citizens is to carry them çforward. i have faith that we can do that. thank you very much, everyone. >> that was president obama announcing the white house's latest position on contraceptive coverage, we have glenn tchthru how likely do you think, glenn, this current position is to satisfy the warring factions, the joe bidens and bill daley who is no longer there and the women of the white house? >> i think that people will line
up behind the solution. the big question that i had when i was looking at the president just now is where were you three weeks ago? he could have controlled this debate to a large measure had he said precisely what he said, laid out and articulated this position. instead, my reporting showed that pete rous, his senior counselor infact reached out to pro choice organizations and told them not to spike the football when the decision was made. my question for cecil is wouldn't you like on have seen this this statement three or four weeks ago? >> i'll put that to you cecil, would you have liked to see that statement made three or four weeks ago? >> i am happy with the statement he made. and i think it clarifies a lot about the implementation and he basically has a different, obviously, megaphone than the
rest of us and he made clear it ike the fact that he talked it about women using birth control for a lot of reasons, it's the most common prescription medicine that women use. and i think a lot of women, because of the statement today, probably for the first time learned that birth control will be covered because of this administration for no copay. it's huge news for women. >> let's open it up to the panel a bit and get everyone's thoughts on sort of how this will shake down on the white house. >> i feel like that announcement took a long time to getting to it. i'm asking, luke, what does that mean? i'm not sure what he is saying. i thinki it is not as clear cut. it will look alike like the stupak amendment.
and i think the one take away i have gotten within the republican party is they are saying thank you so much, barack obama we could not get people coming together for us so far, but a lot of people at the romney event said they were only there because of this debate. it got them off the couches to get engaged. they stepped in it and created a problem where it would not have been necessary. and by the president with a core conviction attached to it, so i think he tried to do it today. but i was confused. >> i think you have walked into exactly -- >> you've stepped on it. >> the republican party does not have a positive message why thereç should be a republican the white house, and to try to get at their core voter who is particularly white evangelical voters and older voters, they need a galvanizing issue, the
opening they rushed into was that the idea we can get all these voters together about something that is mundane, the idea that it controversial that a women can get birth control when men can get viagra. >> it not mundane to tell an employer that they have to violate their conscious. >> 28 wrongs do make a right. >> i think you can argue it not a wrong. >> the idea -- >> he has acknowledged in the address, that the constitution that we have a protection of religious liberty. what it says is that you cannot legitimate the freedom of religion. >> there's a title seven that says you cannot discriminate against women. a religious entity is attempting to go into women's lives and say
i want to deny birth control to women. >> certainly not. >> the catholic bishops have sued over and over again to stop women to get contraceptive through their own insurance that they pay for. this has lost twice. >> the good thing about this debate is it'sity not firry at all. we will be continuing talk about the subject @r neck coming weeks, we look forward to having you both back on the program. thank you for your time. coming up. cpac'ing them in and the term on many tongues is santorum time. is the gop base rallying around the republican candidate named mitt romney? [ male announcer ] yep that's your mouth.
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we always talk about how do we get the moderates, why would an undecided voter vote for a party that the party is not excited about. >> why would they? that was rick santorum, making the case that he is the real conservative in the race and mitt romney is up next speaking later in the hour. joining me now live from cpac, political reporter for the new yorker, ryan, thanks for joining the program. >> hey, thanks for having me alex. >> ryan, it is prime time for rick santorum, is it not? tell us how his speech earlier this morning was received? >> well, it was pretty well received. people here are excited about him and they are having the same conversation that everyone in politics are having. doubts about romney. but you know, taking a lot of the conversations that i had with people, their heart is with rick santorusantorum, but there
questions about electabilitity, he talked about women's emotions and preventing them from serving in the army. as we have seen with every challenger with romney, their flaws are apparent once they are a serious threat to him and conservatives fall in love with these guys and take a harder look and say, well, maybe romney is the best we can do after all. that is sort of the main conversation that is going on. the other thing at cpac is -- >> go ahead. >> no go ahead.ç >> the other hinthing that is interesting, you have interesting panels here, you have the highs and lows of the movement you have the intellectual wing of the conservative movement, and then you sort of have the more populist low lights of the moments as well, right before we came on, ann coulter was talking
about why liberals are uglier than conservatives. so you have the two parts debating, it interesting. >> it's a perfect move to our group of low lights, if we talk about the red meat statements there's been quite a few. >> i don't know what the south african constitution says about these things but i know what the u.s. constitution says about it. >> i have a question, a question for the president. do you hate all rich people or just those that are not comp pain contributors. >> and before president obama was elected no president had ever gone around apologizing to the world. >> the obama administration's war on faith must be defeated. >> we must out smart the stupid people that are trying to ruin
america. >> herman cain, ladies and gentlemen, let's open this up to the panel. social issues are at the fore, this seems likeç an incredible time for rick santorum and a difficult time for mitt romney. >> cpac is a great place to go to the republican party and conservatives that do not agree with the republican party, it's is base of the base, the core of the core. with that said, rick santorum, i want to echo what we heard a little bit ago, all the voters that like him were worried that he would not get elected. with that said, that energy has not moved anywhere else, the tea party itself has not organized themselves as the anti-mitt romney party, so by not collecting themselves and not
organizing themselves they may end up with the person they like the least. i'm fascinated that romney is giving this speech about how he was a governor, that is not a r red meat performance by any meet. his record as governor was not particularly great by any measurable means, so can he go in there and say, he was governor when gay marriages were allowed in massachusetts, there were a lot of things culturally that a lot of folks there would not be too happy with. he distributed flyers at a gay event saying romney, progressive. that doesn't fly well there. >> we look at the roster of activities at çcpac, some of m favorite discussion topics that were listed include, islamic law
in america, how the obama justice department is selling us out. and of course, how the liberal mob is endangerering america, have you gone to any of these? >> i have, i have not gone to the fringe stuff yet, i've been watching the main panel ifts, but it makes you realize that this movement is united by anti-obamaism, i think a lot on it will wash away quickly, once you have obama as the only opponent up there, and that is what we have seen with previous mod raid republicans were
elected. romney has the alternative of talking about bain, and that is not a great message either. his record was relatively skefb i ha -- relatively conservative. >> is there anything that romney can say that will win over this crowd, i mean, he cannot undo the flip flops that he did on abortion and global warming, what is it? there's all this pressure on him to deliver a great speech, but can he do it? are the stakes too high for him? >> and also, should he? mittç romney has been running r president for a long time. he has been wooing conservatives for all this time and they still have doubteds about him. one speech will not make those doubts go away, right? i would worry about the other big problem that he has, people do not know who he is and what his core is, if he came in and offended this crowd a bit, talked about how he was his own
man and did what bill clinton did in 1992, maybe that would work in his benefit. if he is not going to win hard core conservatives anyway. >> you are teasing up a mitt romney sister soldier moment, that, sir, is must see television. after the break, as we mentioned, mitt romney will be speaking at cpac in a few minutes, we will have a preview of his speech and discuss how importantity that he bring his best game. trouble with a car insurance claim. [ dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ foreman ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you.
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you had an online piece discussing the independent swing voters. and i think against the backdrop of cpac where there's talk of to liberal mob, conservatives are turning hard right this week and on the flip side, obama, the president, had a more populist message, who is better positioned to grab those swing voters? >> this is the danger for mitt romney here, the recent caucuses in minnesota and colorado reveal that he has a serious problem with the most(cnnservative voters in the republican party and then on the other hand, if you look at the polls that tell you what the general election is b he is bleeding independents as the same time that the president's numbers are ticking up and the economy is doing better. so that is a two-front war he
has. and with rick santorum surging now at this moment, it's a tough time for him. the other thing to say about the republican party is this party has become much more conservative over the last ten years. self identified conservatives make up over 70% of the republican party so when rick sa santorum came in and said we are the republican party, that is true. >> is there a feeling that what romney has to do to win over the cpac crowd is a problem for him with the conservatives in the general election? >> a burning fu ining funeral pd not say that. did i not say. >> take it away. >> it's wrapping up that base
and pivot toward the general and every time that romney thinks he did it, well, there comes newt gingrich in south carolina, and then he nukes newt in florida and pivots to the general again and then he has this loss this tuesday. so, every time he thinks he is out of this republican primary, these guys behind him startç grabbing him and start bringing him back in and not allowing him to start the general election. >> i want to open it up to the panel a bit, as we talk about the swinging further to the right, the cdemocrats remain moe diverse. so there's much more wiggle room on the left, which would seem to benefit president obama. >> the entire gop field reflects do we nominate a clear conservative and a clear
contrast against obama or do we do with mitt romney, who is more likely to get independent voters but could blow himself up before he gets there, and who will so turn off the base that the base will not turn out for you? everything that we are seeing is this fight happening every single day. >> and the trick for romney in the case against santorum, to make the case he is not a true conservative. he has done earmarks and does not believe in a limited role of government, in order to attract the cpac crowd he has to make that distinction, how conservative is rick santorum other than on the social issues? >> and an interesting thing we were talking about earlier, had he locked up the nomination after florida, he could have gone in and said things that were not that popular and said
look, i'm your best shot, come with me. he cannot do that today, do you go in and say, ep, i've seen the light, i agree with everything that you guys are for, come on, i'm so much better than the other guy? >> right. >> with this group, i liked that patricia talked about covering cpac, as a republican party, the establishment guys see you there, and they give you the nod, like oh, my god, these guys are crazy. you see the dynamic of the party. the establishment controlling the money and the various pockets they need the various states to get the victory. we have the contraceptive thing, the catholics are those people, let's get them over. romney has to get at least one group today. >> maybe he should send up ann romney up to give the speech for him. just a suggestion. ryan, thank you for joining us, good luck out there. coming up, it began with a lot of talk and ended with a surprise finish, we are not talking about the super bowl, we
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the best in the nfl and in politics locked helmets this week, fighting for the highest title in the land, it's time to look back and say, what just happened? >> i can guarantee you that coach tom coughlin did not tell his giants to go out on the field and work with those other guys. we do not have shared goals with the democrats. ♪ >> it was the week of the big game to football field, and in the political arena. >> what the giants have done coming back from a tough situation in the middle of the -- >> or in the middle of a first term. >> -- has been remarkable. and it will be a close game.
>> or a close election.ç >> they both have weaknesses. >> mitt romney lost in missouri, minnesota and colorado. and went on offense in georgia. >> senator santorum and speaker gingrich are the very republicans who acted like democrats and when republicans act like democrats they lose. >> newt gingrich warmed the bench in ohio while rick santorum threw a hail mary pass and settled on an offensive strategy in michigan michig. >> in the locker room the strategy on win was laid out. >> this attack on religious freedom cannot and will not stand. >> the war on faith must be defeated. >> this corrodes our demauk rassy and they need to stop.
>> and as the other team huddled the president took the field. >> there's no excuse for inaction. >> we find a way through times. >> we pull together. >> and we look out for one another. >> we acted as one. >> it going to be a mighty second half. >> if it's half time in america -- >> yeah, it halftime america. >> as you can tell -- >> i'm fired up now. let do it. >> let's take the field. >> i wish i had my eye black, but i do have, i should have put this on before the break. i can'tç do it, it goes on my wrist, my team -- it my tebow thing. its that primary and caucus calendar on it, because we are political dorks not grid iron
fanatics, well, we are both whomwho is winning to political score board? >> newt gingrich is losing, what happened to him? he is the man, he wins the south carolina big, and he is the conservative alternative and then vanishes off the face of the earth and than santorum wins three, it the strangest primary i can remember. what happened to newt? >> on the moon, apparently. >> if only he could be, he would be happier. i'm going to say that i think it was a good week for mitt romney. he needs to tighten up his messages. he needs to be much more humble in victory, he was bragging after florida and he needed to be knocked back on his heels a bit. and i think that santorum's vektvekt -- victories of the
republican's up and downs. >> congress is a winner this week, because they passed the stock act, it would ban insider trading by members and it has come to fruition. there's talk about the house bill is too waters down but it will get somewhere. and çdateline, my show. >> very simple, nancy pelosi, two words, steven colbert. >> thanks again to my panel. luke's one hour dateline investigation airs this sunday night, he talked to a man that is serving life for a murder he did not commit. do not miss it. must-see tv. that is all for now, i'll see you back here monday at noon eastern, when my new panel will be with me. until then, follow us on the
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>>. right now, breaking news, president obama tries to satisfy angry catholics and women's groups with a compromise on the birth control mandate. secretary kathleen sebelius joins me now from washington. thank you for joining us, i know it was just broken, what was the determing factor that made this statement made today and why didn't the white house foresee this backlash? >> i think that we said from the outset is, two weeks ago when i said we would finalize the rule around the exemption was
proposed, that we would work for a year, reaching out on stakeholders and reaching out to other religious employers who had an objection to directly offering contraception, the president said this fire storm is out there and we need to make sure that at theç end of the d have these health benefits for women. 99% of women use birth control at some point in their lives and they should have availability regardless of where they work, so the president said speed up the process and we did just that. >> it's likely that the bishops will not accept this either. are you going to keep compromising to satisfy that constituentsy or is this the bottom line? >> no, the final rule will be pu